Senior Show: In Progress

I’m making great progress on my senior show, which is quite a relief. While it is stressful at times, it is a mostly positive experience. Having a definite direction and focus for my work has probably been the life-giving aspect of this project. I know what I’m doing and where I want to go with this. The images I produce along the way are probably the greatest source of uncertainty because I have to debate with myself, “What am I trying to communicate?” Is there a concrete message that I want people to walk away with, or do I want to create a certain sense of ambiguity? This semester I am auditing Abnormal Psych, and the other day we talked about classifications and the effect of labeling. My professor said that often labels become the identity, and it shapes our perceptions of behavior and of people. Do I want to affix a concrete label to my work and say, “this is what I wanted this image to represent,” and have everyone walk away from my work with that clear idea? Or do I want people to walk away from my work with their own construction of meaning? I should probably figure that out. One of my art professors said I need to think about the message I want people to receive from my work. His opinion was that my work was “gender-bending”… And if my piece is essentially a self-portrait, what does that mean?